This week, PayPal announced that it’s entering the Chinese payments market. It’s acquiring a 70% interest in Guofubao Information Technology Co. (GoPay) Ltd, which already holds a payments license in the country.
The move makes PayPal the first payment platform with a license to provide online payments in China, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said in the announcement. The People’s Bank of China approved the acquisition.
“We look forward to partnering with China’s financial institutions and technology platforms, providing a more comprehensive set of payment solutions to businesses and consumers, both in China and globally,” Schulman said.
Breaking into payments in China, which is dominated by Chinese payments services such as mobile wallet providers Alipay and WeChat Pay, is notoriously difficult. According to CNN Business, PayPal is only the second American company to find success there.
The first was American Express, which formed a joint venture with a Chinese company last year. AmEx has had to process transactions through China’s Union Pay, the CNN article said, but the joint venture has preliminary approval from the People’s Bank of China to build out its own clearance and settlement network there.
Mastercard said earlier this year that it is was attempting to form a joint venture of its own with a new company, after previous attempts were unsuccessful.
While entering the market is difficult, it’s potentially worth it. TechCrunch cited a Frost & Sullivan report projecting that mobile payments in the country would grow 21.8% between 2017 and 2023 thanks in part to increasing interest in e-commerce.
The companies expect the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of this year.